An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Proced ure.

NO. COA03-888

NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS

Filed: 1 June 2004

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

         v.                        Durham County
                                No. 01 CRS 56695
REGINALD MERCER,

        Defendant.
    

    Appeal by defendant from judgment entered 1 April 2003 by Judge Steve A. Balog in Durham County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 3 May 2004.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General Sueanna P. Sumpter, for the State.

    Samuel L. Bridges for defendant-appellant.

    ELMORE, Judge.

    Defendant was charged with common law robbery. Before trial, defendant moved that the State's witnesses be sequestered so that each witness could “recall from their complete recordation what they recall happening.” The trial court denied the motion. The State's evidence tended to show that in the early morning hours of 15 October 2001, Adrianne Traxinger (Traxinger) drove home after visiting a friend. Traxinger parked her vehicle and walked towards her apartment building. As Traxinger approached the building, defendant came up to her and asked her for money. Traxinger told defendant she would not give him money and kept walking. Defendant grabbed Traxinger's ponytail when she reached the entrance of herapartment building, rammed her face into the gate and kicked her until she let go of her purse. Defendant ran off with the purse and Traxinger followed him. Defendant started emptying the purse's contents and Traxinger began picking up the items. When a twenty dollar bill came out of the purse, defendant put it in his pocket and walked away while Traxinger continued to collect the contents of her purse.
    Traxinger testified at trial that she described her attacker as approximately five feet, eight inches tall and stocky. Officer Timothy Clapp of the Durham Police Department testified that when he interviewed Traxinger the morning of the incident, she described her attacker as being about five feet six to seven inches tall, with a medium build, weighing 165 to 170 pounds. Detective Bret Hallan, who interviewed Traxinger two days after the incident, testified that Traxinger described her attacker as five feet seven to eight inches tall, with a stocky build and weighing approximately 175 pounds. Traxinger subsequently picked defendant out of a photo line-up.
    A jury found defendant guilty as charged. The trial court sentenced defendant twenty-one to twenty-six months imprisonment. Defendant appeals.
    In his sole argument on appeal, defendant contends the trial court abused its discretion in denying defendant's motion to sequester the State's witnesses. Defendant argues that because the victim's description of defendant varied, sequestration was necessary so that each detective would testify without the benefitof hearing the description given by the victim at trial. We disagree.
    Sequestration serves the dual purpose of acting “as a restraint on witnesses tailoring their testimony to that of earlier witnesses” as well as “detecting testimony that is less than candid.” State v. Harrell, 67 N.C. App. 57, 64, 312 S.E.2d 230, 236 (1984). Upon a motion to sequester witnesses in a criminal case, “the judge may order all or some of the witnesses other than the defendant to remain outside of the courtroom until called to testify[.]” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1225 (2003). “A ruling on a motion to sequester witnesses rests within the sound discretion of the trial court, and the court's denial of the motion will not be disturbed in the absence of a showing that the ruling was so arbitrary that it could not have been the result of a reasoned decision.” State v. Call, 349 N.C. 382, 400, 508 S.E.2d 496, 507-08 (1998).
    Although defendant alleges that he wanted the detectives to testify from only their own recollection, he has cited nothing in the record to show that Officer Clapp or Detective Hallan tailored their testimony to the victim's earlier testimony or that their testimony was less than candid. In the absence of such a showing, we perceive no abuse of discretion and this assignment of error is overruled.
    No error.
    Judges TIMMONS-GOODSON and CALABRIA concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

*** Converted from WordPerfect ***